If you’ve questioned whether your house was insulated well enough before now, you’ll probably get the answer this winter! Time to batten down, cinch up, and insulate to your heart’s content (for the sake of your personal comfort, and to ward off a scary heating bill).
Getting your home comfortable for the winter months is DIY at its finest; from weatherstripping your entryways to curing drafty windows, the tips below are need-to-know for homeowners of every skill level. In no particular order:
Maintain your furnace and HVAC system
Change your HVAC filters monthly, especially when the system is active during the winter. Not only will it help air quality, but you’ll also keep your system running more efficiently than it would if the filters were congested. Clear obstructions like tables and furniture away from vents too, to maximize the flow of air throughout the room. Learn more about maintaining your furnace, and winterizing your water heater too.
Assess your heating zones
Which rooms are you spending your time in? If you have a second or third heating and cooling zone in your home, remember that they don’t all have to be set equally. Lower it in the rooms you don’t frequent, and shut doors to help keep the warmth where you need it most instead of allowing it disperse through unused space.
Swap out sheers for heavier curtains
It contradicts the previous tip a little bit, but when you have very drafty windows, won’t regret sacrificing light with an investment in cellular shades to keep the heat in and cold out. (DIY these heavy roman shades if you’d like – felt never looked so fine!)
Seal your doorways
Put foam weatherstripping around the inside of your door to create a seal and prevent air exchange. Double Draft Stoppers are a great short-term solution for preventing a draft at the bottom of the door.
Re-glaze, or add a layer of insulation over your windows and doors
Improve the R-value of non-insulated doors with plastic sheeting, which is installed using double-sided tape and a hair dryer. Don’t forget to re-glaze any panes that are loose and need maintenance.
Change out the insert in your storm door
Don’t forget to change out the screen in your storm doors to a solid glass pane (goodbye summertime cross-breeze). Very easy to forget to do this on doors that you don’t use daily!
Insulate your attic
This is a pricier effort, but an easy DIY. Roll sheets of unbacked insulation between all of the floor joists in your attic; if it’s already between the joists, apply a second layer with the lengths running perpendicular to the joists. Maximum protection to keep the heat in your house, and out of your attic space. (Insulate exposed pipes in your basement too, so that the warmth from the pipes isn’t heating the basement before it reaches your living space.)
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